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Inside Track: Jessica Golding, Absen

Jessica Golding, European brand & marketing director for Absen, on how she got started in AV, advice for women starting out in the industry, and the company’s European expansion plans

Whereabouts do you hail from and where are you based?
I was born in Basingstoke; aged two moved to Belper in Derbyshire; and ten years later moved to Banbury. So, it’s fair to say I moved around a little when I was a child! I’ve remained in Banbury ever since and have settled, buying a house there.  

How did you get started in the industry?
After university, I had been working at a local FMCG distributor in Banbury and was looking for my next challenge. I saw that BenQ was hiring for a marketing executive and being based in Weston-on-the-green, just outside of Bicester. Being so local to me, it seemed like an ideal move! It sounded perfect, and thankfully I was offered the job – and that was my introduction to the AV industry. After a couple of years at BenQ, and during the pandemic, I saw an opportunity to join Absen as European marketing manager. I enjoyed being in the industry and really wanted to challenge myself so applied and the rest is history! I love my job and was delighted to gain promotion to my current role as European brand & marketing director just 11 months later.

What advice can you give women starting out in AV?
Don’t be afraid to have your voice heard. The industry is full of incredible talent and many of those people have so much experience to share, but sometimes the expertise that others have can seem daunting. However, you have a valid voice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak up! You’ll be in great company.

What do you do in your spare time?
If I’m not working, you’ll find me by the Cornish seaside! My partner and I and our cocker spaniel Floyd, try to spend as much time as we can in Cornwall. There is nothing I love more than to disconnect with some local food at the beach, after a long dog walk.

Tell us something about you that may surprise people
When I was studying my design and marketing degree at university, I had a short placement at Primark head office. During my time there I worked with the children’s buying and design team, which gave me the chance to design my own baby clothes. The director loved my designs and they decided to produce them! My baby grows went live on sale and it was possible to purchase them across the UK.

If you could change just one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wish I had chosen to study a language when I was at school. I would love to be multilingual. I am trying to learn Italian now, but it’s very hard going! I always ask Eric, from the Absen French team to teach me French every time I see him too!

How’s business at Absen currently, pinch points with supply etc, and what are the plans going forward across EMEA?
The team is continuously expanding which I think speaks for itself. The European team has almost doubled in size in the last two years and there is no sign of that slowing down. We are investing in local talent to support our customers in each region and we can see the benefit this is having. As far as supply is concerned, Absen has not long opened a whole new manufacturing plant to meet the demand of micro-led technology and we believe this has been essential to supporting the market with the latest LED technology. 

Going forward, the team will continue to expand and innovate across EMEA, whilst looking at growth in the developing markets. Virtual production has been incredibly successful for us, with Absen now firmly seen as a market leader in this industry and we want to continue building reputations like this.